There are very few people who have not visited an emergency room at some point in their lives. Even the most cautious person can slip and fall, or cut their finger with a kitchen knife, and end up being taken to the emergency room. In addition to emergency rooms, urgent care centers are becoming more and more common as an alternative to traditional hospital emergency rooms. For some patients, urgent care centers are more convenient than a trip to the doctor’s office or a crowded emergency room.
No matter the venue, when a patient is in need of immediate medical care, the doctors charged with providing that care must provide the same level of care that other physicians, practicing urgent or emergency medicine, would provide under similar circumstances, taking into account a patient’s age and medical history. If they don’t, and their failure to meet these standards results in an injury or death to a patient, they may be liable for medical malpractice. Another name for medical malpractice is medical “negligence.”
For many patients, the worst part of an emergency room visit is the long wait before being seen. Hours after arriving at the emergency room doors, they are sent home with stitches, medication, or both. Usually, they return home tired but relatively healthy.